The Hunter New England Health District has reintroduced compulsory face masks at a local hospital amid an outbreak of Covid-19 cases.
The mandate applies to both visitors and staff in clinical and patient facing areas at the John Hunter Hospital.
A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health confirmed the change in a statement on Wednesday.
“To protect our staff and patients from increasing COVID-19 cases in the community, John Hunter Hospital has temporarily reinstated the requirement for face masks to be worn in clinical settings,” the spokesperson said.
“Several patients have either tested positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact, and some of our staff have been furloughed due to illness”
“We will continue to assess the need for mask-wearing to ensure the safety of patients, staff and visitors.”
It is understood the measure was implemented following a risk assessment identifying a Tier 1 Yellow, or low to moderate transmission risk.
The latest wave of Covid-19 comes off the back of the festive season, when cases traditionally surge due to the number of social gatherings.